A reopening of the Summerland Aquatic Centre is planned for September. The facility was closed beginning in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland begins reopening aquatic centre

First phase of reopening planned for Sept. 8

Summerland’s Parks and Recreation department has updated its plan on reopening municipal facilities.

Earlier this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland shut down many of its parks and recreation services.

Some facilities have been opened earlier this year. The Summerland Arts Centre opened on June 22, the Farmers’ Market has operated out of the arena parking lot Sundays since June 28, the Summerland Arena opened July 13, the Summerland Museum opened on July 15 and Centre Stage Theatre opened for small bookings on July 16.

In addition, outdoor fitness programs are happening in parks in the community.

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Staff are now preparing for the reopening of the Summerland Aquatic and Fitness Centre on Sept. 8.

“We’re looking at a relatively slow approach to opening the recreation centre,” said Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer for Summerland.

Under the first phase of this reopening, the facility will have reduced hours of operation, reduced activities, a reduced number of participants and a scheduled 15-minute buffer between time slots.

Fitness equipment has been rearranged to allow for proper physical distancing in the gym.

Haddad said municipal staff will be monitoring the facility carefully, especially during the first month.

Advance registration is required for the fitness room and pool, and the facility will be shut down midday for enhanced cleaning.

The hours are Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will be no pool rental bookings except for swim clubs, no swimming lessons, no special events and no school bookings.

Those using the fitness room, lane swimming or aquafit classes must book a one-hour time slot in advance.

The first phase of the reopening will run from Sept. 8 to Oct. 11.

Throughout the province, many other municipal aquatic facilities in British Columbia are planning for a fall reopening.

Depending on the first phase of the reopening in Summerland, a second phase, including expanded hours of operation, increased participation levels and modified swimming lessons.

The most recent financial projections call for a 20 per cent reduction in revenue for September to December.

However, if a second wave of COVID-19 arises, the financial projections will be revisited.

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